Jamie McCombe confesses he was concerned about his career during his long injury lay off.
A stress fracture to the towering centre half’s back saw him miss all bar the final two games of last season while he has largely found himself as a back-up player this term.
I had worries and doubts because it just wouldn’t heal.Jamie McCombe
And McCombe admits he did have doubts as the injury struggled to heal.
“It wasn’t really a serious injury, it was just a stress fracture but the problem was it wouldn’t heal,” McCombe told the Free Press.
“I could have had a much more serious injury and been back sooner.
“I could have broken my leg, had it pinned and be playing again quicker than I was from that.
“It was just one of those niggly injuries that you can’t rush.
“I had worries and I had doubts.
“But I never doubted myself about not being ok when I got the green light to come back.
“I’ve never doubted my fitness or ability. It was just about getting back and playing games.”
An injury to Luke McCullough brought McCombe back into the starting XI for five games last month.
Now back among the substitutes, the 32-year-old admits it is frustrating being on the fringes but insists the good of the team is foremost in his mind.
He said: “Over my career I’ve played more than I’ve been on the bench so it’s a bit frustrating.
“But I know it’s swings and roundabouts.
“We’ve got a good team ethic here, a good squad. And it’s the squad that’s going to win promotion.
“The starting XI is going to be changed all the time with people coming in and out.
“You have to stay with it.
“If you sulk when you’re not playing or if you don’t perform when you come into the team then you’ll be out again.
“You’ve caused it yourself. But if you keep yourself fit and you take your chance, that’s the best you can do.”
McCombe could be set for the eighth play-off campaign of his career if Rovers can maintain their place in League One’s top six.
And he says consistency will be vital over the next two months due to the tight nature of the division.
He said: “There’s a long way to go and there’s going to be a lot of twists and turns along the way.
“It’s just about maintaining consistency.
“If we can do that then with the quality we’ve got we should be up there.”